Online Encyclopedia

QUEBEC ACT

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 730 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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QUEBEC ACT  , the title usually given to a
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bill introduced into the House of Lords on May 2, 1774, entitled " An Act for making more Effectual Provision for the Government of the Province of
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Quebec, in North
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America." It passed the House of Lords on May 17, was discussed in the
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Commons from May 26 to
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June 13, and finally passed with some amendments . These were accepted by the Lords, in spite of the opposition of Lord Chatham, and the bill received the royal assent on June 22 . The debates in the House of Commons are not found in the
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Parliamentary
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History, but were published separately by J . Wright in 1839 . The speech of Lord Chatham is given in the Chatham Correspondence (iv . 351-353) . By this act the boundaries of the
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Canadian province of Quebec were extended so as to include much of the country between the
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Ohio and the
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Mississippi . The French inhabitants of the province were granted the liberty to profess " the religion of the Church of Rome"; the French
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civil law was established, though in criminal law the
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English code was introduced . Government was vested in a governor and council, a representative assembly not being granted till the Constitutional Act of 1791 . The granting of
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part of the Western territory to Quebec, and the recognition of the
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Roman Catholic religion, greatly angered the
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American colonies . On the other hand, it did much to keep the French Canadians from joining the Americans in the coming struggle . The act is still looked back to by the French in
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Canada as their
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great charter of liberty .

clergy . First-fruits (annates) and tenths (decimae) formed originally part of the revenue paid by the clergy to the papal
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exchequer . The former consist of the first whole
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year's profit of all spiritual preferments, the latter of one-tenth of their
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annual profits after the first year . In accordance with the provisions of two acts (5 & 6 Anne, c . 24, and 6 Anne, c . 27) about 3900 poor livings under the annual value of £5o were discharged from first-fruits and tenths . The income derived from first-fruits and tenths was annexed to the revenue of the
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crown in 1535 (26
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Hen . VIII. c . 3), and so continued until 1703 . Since that date there has been a large mass of legislation dealing with Queen Anne's Bounty, the effect of which will be found set forth in a Report of a Joint Select Committee on the Queen Anne's Bounty Board, 190o . The
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governors consist of the archbishops and bishops, some of the
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principal
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officers of the government, and the chief legal and judicial authorities . The
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augmentation proceeds on the principle of assisting the smallest benefices first .

All the

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cures not exceeding £10 per annum must have received £200 before the governors can proceed to assist those not exceeding £20 per annum . In order to encourage benefactions, the governors may give £200 to cures not exceeding £45 a year, where any person will give the same or a greater sum . The
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average income from first-fruits and tenths is a little more than C16,000 a year . In 1906 the
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trust funds in the hands of he governors amounted to £7,023,000 . The grants in 1906 mounted to £28,607, the benefactions to £29,888 . The accounts are laid annually before the king in council and the houses of parliament . The duties of the governors are not confined to the augmentation of benefices . They may in addition lend
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money for the repair and rebuilding of residences and for the execution of
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works required by the Ecclesiastical Dilapidations Acts, and may receive and apply compensation money in respect of the enfranchisement of copyholds on any benefice . The governors are unpaid; the treasurer and secretary receives a
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salary of £i000 a year . He is appointed by patent under the great seal, and holds office during the pleasure of the crown .

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